I am awful when it comes to keeping up with new television. Several years have past after the premiere of BBQ Pitmasters before I even thought to tune in. So when Netflix came out with their subscription only political thriller series – House of Cards – I expressed my usual indifference. It’s not that don’t like watching TV, I love it, I just don’t really find the time to do it.
But then my wife started complaining about the main character’s affection for BBQ and how much BBQ kept popping up in the scenes. Well that caught my attention. In the show, Frank Underwood is a South Carolina Congressman whose playing at the upper levels of cut throat politics. Just as Tony Soprano does his deals at a strip club, Underwood schemes and does his backroom deals in a BBQ hole in the wall while stuffing his face with sweet sticky ribs.
Sounds like my kind of character!!
Several fun observations from the media on Frank’s choice of BBQ and my commentary.
Media: Frank Underwood is from South Carolina so he’s more likely to want mustard based BBQ
My Commentary: Frank’s from Gaffney, SC which is only a sneeze away from Charolette, NC. This area is pretty much ANY-TOWN, USA when it comes to regional BBQ i.e. it doesn’t exist. Only certain areas really stick to the old Carolina tradition. The closer you get to major cities, the less regional your BBQ becomes.
Take for example Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ in Gaffney, SC where Frank’s supposely from. On the menu the BBQ really isn’t any different than what you might find in Los Angelos or Boston. The rib likely the same as portrayed by the show – saucy and sticky.
Media: Frank would more likely be eating pulled pork than ribs being from the Carolinas.
My Commentary: That’s pretty on point except for a few caveats. I’m sure the show is picking ribs because it’s easier to see that he’s biting into a piece of BBQ. A pulled pork sandwich just looks like anything else between a bun on camera. For all we know he might be eating a tofu sandwich. The ribs is an interesting distinction between North and South Carolina. Strong representatives of the area like Maurice’s and Sweatman’s actually go through the trouble of preparing South Carolina style ribs. In North Carolina, ribs are an after thought because when someone says BBQ, they’re thinking chopped pork.
Media: The closest equivalent to Freddy’s BBQ would be Rockland’s in the DC area.
My Commentary: I would have to agree with that. Rockland’s is indeed very good. If Frank was eating here though, he might want to give the Beef Rib a go, it’s mind blowing.